Victoria's 15th day without new virus case

Benita Kolovos and Andi Yu
·3-min read

Victoria has recorded no new COVID-19 cases or deaths for a 15th consecutive day but the state's deputy chief health officer has warned the pandemic isn't over.

Saturday's figures come after 14,614 tests were processed in 24 hours.

Just three active cases remain across the state - two in the local government region of Greater Dandenong and one in Casey.

There is one case of unknown transmission - dubbed a 'mystery case' in the fortnight up to Wednesday.

Health Minister Martin Foley says the Department of Health and Human Services has removed 515 cases from its tally of mystery cases after establishing links to known infections.

"As case numbers have come down over the past few weeks, the DHHS ... has created and tested an algorithm that has identified some additional 515 historical cases that are connected to close contacts or established outbreaks," he told reporters on Saturday.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said the reclassified cases are mainly from July and August, when the state was recording hundreds of new COVID-19 cases per day.

"It's important to correct the record so that we can analyse the data correctly and make sure we have learnings for next time," he said.

Prof Cheng described the state's run of zero cases as "about as good as it can get".

"What we're still concerned about ... is that there may still be the potential for hidden trains of transmission out there; obviously that chance is decreasing as time goes on," he said.

"And then obviously the potential for an incursion of cases from outside, from New Zealand or NSW."

Professor Cheng said a testing push had begun in Hume and Wyndham - local government areas hardest hit during the state's second wave.

"We just want to make sure that there's nothing we're missing there," he said.

"This is not over."

He encouraged anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested.

Premier Daniel Andrews this week said despite the lack of new cases he wouldn't fast-track the next round of easing restrictions, scheduled for November 22.

This date will see the last step out of restrictions with greater freedom given to the retail, hospitality and personal services industries.

Ten people will be allowed to visit a home and public gatherings will grow to 50 people outdoors, while the cap on weddings and funerals will be increased to 100 and organised contact sports will resume for all ages.

"What we need to do is make sure we have that biggest buffer possible before we take really big steps towards opening up, because it does serve that purpose," Mr Andrews said on Friday.

"If we can keep numbers very low for an extended period of time, we'll be able to keep them low for all of 2021."

Families separated either side of the Victoria-South Australia border have been offered relief, with SA to lift all border restrictions on December 1.

There will be no requirement for travellers to quarantine in hotels or at home.

NSW announced last week it would reopen its border with Victoria on November 23.

Victoria's death toll from the virus stands at 819, with the national figure at 907.